Georgia News

Man who faked coronavirus, causing shutdown at workplace, charged by feds

ATLANTA, GA – Santwon Antonio Davis has been charged with defrauding his employer by allegedly faking a positive COVID-19 medical excuse letter, causing the employer to stop business and sanitize the workplace. Davis has since admitted that he did not have COVID-19.

“The defendant caused unnecessary economic loss to his employer and distress to his coworkers and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “We will take quick action through the Georgia COVID-19 Task Force to put a stop to criminals preying on Georgia companies and the public with Coronavirus-related fraud schemes.”

“Scammers continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic through a variety of means,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We receive numerous complaints every day and this case is a reminder that we remain vigilant in detecting, investigating and prosecuting any wrongdoing related to the crisis.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: The defendant, who was employed by a Fortune 500 company with a facility located in the Atlanta, Georgia area, falsely claimed to have contracted COVID-19 and submitted a falsified medical record to his employer. In concern for its employees and customers, the corporation closed its facility for cleaning and paid its employees during the shutdown. This caused a loss in excess of $100,000 to the corporation and the unnecessary quarantine of several of the defendant’s coworkers.

Santwon Antonio Davis, 34, of Morrow, Georgia, made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand. Members of the public are reminded that the complaint only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell Phillips and Sarah Klapman are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Georgia’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fraud Task Force, aimed at better protecting the citizens of Georgia from criminal fraud arising from the pandemic. Formed by Georgia’s leading state and federal prosecutors, the task force serves to open channels of communication between partner agencies and more rapidly share information about COVID-19 fraud, while ensuring each fraud complaint is reported to the appropriate prosecuting agency. The task force member agencies include the Office of the Governor of Georgia, the Office of the Attorney General of Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia. Georgia’s three U.S. Attorneys, the Attorney General of Georgia, and the Executive Counsel for the Governor’s Office serve on the task force. If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at www.justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm.

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